A New Look at Sergers – Part 1

For my next series of posts I’m going to focus on a fabulous machine which I feel anyone who sews should have in their studio – The Serger aka Overlock machine.

Pro 4DX

I love working the Janome booth at shows because I love meeting people –  the Janome fans – and most importantly, hearing their feedback. I’ve heard from many beginner sewers that they’re intimidated by the serger and aren’t sure they really need one. From the experienced quilters I’ve heard that they haven’t used their serger since they got into quilting and stopped making garments. I’m afraid I’ve been guilty of that myself, but not anymore! I’ve taken a new look at my serger and now use it every opportunity I can.

Though once considered a specialty of a select category of sewists i.e. Garment Sewers, the serger can now become a staple; a versatile tool in one’s proverbial bag of tricks to get the job done quickly and easily, be it quilting, fibre art, or garments – all with professional results every time.


Like many, my sewing roots started out in garment construction while in high school. I was fortunate that my high school had a Fashion Arts class which focused on sewing, so I didn’t have to take regular Home Economics (in which I had no interest). I know I’m dating myself now. Does anyone remember Home Ec.? lol! In retrospect, maybe I should have taken Home Ec. after-all because I’m a lousy cook. My joke is that the best thing I make in the kitchen is reservations. (wink!)

The machines I used in high school, and later in college while studying Fashion Design, were simple, industrial-type machines which were easy to use and could take a beating – just like machines from Janome! www.janome.com

Stitching twice as fast as most domestic sewing machines the serger is hugely efficient: it stitches a seam and overcasts the raw edge so it won’t fray – all in one step!  This revolutionized the sewing world.



A big plus to the serger is having no bobbins to wind like with a domestic sewing machine. The serger typically uses large cones of thread (as pictured above) so you’ll spend less time changing thread and more time serging;  getting your projects done fast.

The Janome XG-43D is the serger I use and dearly love. Though it’s considered “entry-level” it’s quite versatile and has the strength and durability to never let me down. I’ll share some projects I’ve created with it in future blog posts.

Like all Janome machines, Janome sergers start with a full aluminum frame on which the rest of the machine is built. The plastic covers make it sleek, lighter in weight and easy to clean. In the case of Janome’s Four DLM Maker model, it’s cover coordinates with the Janome Maker line http://www.janomemaker.com/assets/mseries-comparison.pdf of sewing machines. http://janome.ca/brochure/En/janome/crd/M50_QDC-PC16.pdf


How cool is that?!





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National Education Manager and Janome Life Managing Editor, Liz Thompson, wrote an informative, descriptive post on the complete line up of  JANOME SERGERS , and, as always, visit your local Janome Dealer to give a serger a test drive and check out it’s awesome features.

If you already have a serger, dust it off and give it a good tune-up! In my next post I’ll go into some fun things to do on the serger, specially Quilting with a Serger.

Stay tuned!









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St Patrick’s Day…….another cute little project from Tania

Tania has shared many great quick little applique projects with us before. This is another one just in time to celebrate St Patrick’s Day!  Tania is one of our Janome Artisans and sews on the Janome Skyline S7. 

Here is the link to the instructions/tutorial on how to make your very own St Patrick’s Day beer mug mat – Enjoy the project (and the beer too if you wish)!


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fantastic embellishments collection

Janome has a partnership with the OESD Embroidery design company that produces beautiful embroidery designs that we can stitch on all our embroidery machines.   What is very special about this is that if your local dealer is signed up as a janome-embroidery.com dealer, when you visit the website and purchase a design, your dealer gets credit for your purchase –   What a great way to support your local dealer!


https://www.janome-embroidery.com/ is where you will find the stitch files.

I always like to test sew a design that I purchase (or download for free) from a website.  I like to ensure that the design is quality work.  There are no  issues with the the designs on this site as OESD is a well established company with professional digitizers’ creating their stitch files.


These are a few of the designs I tested from their Fantastic Embellishments Collection.  They stitched perfectly on my Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker machine.  Once I have tested designs, I can then proceed with confidence to use these designs on a project I have in mind.

Over time, I accumulate quite a few test sew designs.  I don’t want to dispose of them just because they were not made for a specific project.  What I do is applique them onto bags to give away as gifts for participants at classes I teach and stores I visit.  This way I can use them to promote the Janome embroidery website at the same time as Janome customers can receive a door prize or similar gift!  Any of your test sew stitch outs can be recycled in a similar way.


Consider visiting the Janome-Embroidery site and try some of the free designs or purchase a set of designs to support your local authorized and participating Janome dealer on this website.


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Unboxing a New “Toy”

Regardless of the time of year, getting a new sewing machine feels just like Christmas morning. The anticipation of ripping open the box, getting out all the parts and pieces in order to sew brings out the kid in all of us. It’s SEW exciting!

I felt that way myself recently when I finally brought home the fabulous new Janome Memory Craft 6700P. https://www.janome.com/en/products/machines/mc6700p/



While you reach for a knife or the scissors (not your good fabric scissors, of course!) to open the carton of your new machine, stop for a minute to think about the box itself and how the machine is packaged. You’ll thank yourself later for not rushing and for keeping everything in tact. Always save the box if you can. You never know when it might come in handy.

It’s amazing to me just how well thought-out and executed the packaging is to all Janome machines, regardless price points; from entry level all the way up to top-of-the-line. Each machine has custom molded Styrofoam inserts around which the machine rests snuggly and securely.

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All the parts and pieces like the power cord, foot pedal; the all important instruction manual, and all those glorious presser feet (the Janome MC 6700P comes with 17!) are neatly tucked in every nook and cranny around the machine in their own plastic bag. Everything is neat and easily identified. As the saying goes, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” I think the clever engineers at Janome may have come up with that, lol!

There are basically two ways Janome machines are packaged: insert, or top loading and clamshell.  The most common is Top Loading, like on the fabulous Top-of-the-Line Horizon Memory Craft 15000 Quilt Maker.




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A custom-fitted Styrofoam insert is placed in the bottom of the box to securely cushion the machine. The insert matches the angled profile of the large LCD touchscreen on the front of the machine. In the above photo it’s on the left, but when sitting in front of the Horizon Memory Craft 15000 Quilt Maker it’s on the right. There’s even a little arrow imprinted in the centre of the Styrofoam bottom as another clue to indicate the front. Janome thinks of everything!

Once the machine is set in the box, another fitted Styrofoam insert will go over the top and down along the sides to further protect and firmly hold the machine in place. I must point out that the machine in the photo below is my own personal MC 15000, so I’d added the little strips of black Velcro to the top for my own purpose.  A brand new Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 Quilt Maker fresh out of the box will NOT have those. lol!

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Note the built-in and reinforced handles on each side of the box. Sew easy to carry!

The other type of packaging for machines is referred to as Clamshell, because, as the name suggests, two halves of the molded Styrofoam inserts wrap around and encase the machine. The Janome Memory Craft 6700P is the perfect example of this. It is indeed like a treasured pearl inside. Can you tell I love this machine!?

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It is easier to unbox these machines with them laying on their side, especially one as hefty as the Janome Memory Craft 6700P. This is indeed a formidable, professional machine, which is one reason why it is packaged with the clamshell inserts; they offer sturdy support.

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Though most of us are trying to eliminate extra clutter in our homes, it really is wise to save the box and custom molded Styrofoam inserts for your machine. Perhaps you’ll attend a retreat or a class at some distance away? You can transport your machine safely with peace of mind that it will arrive intact, no matter how arduous the journey may be.

Or, perhaps you’d like to upgrade and would like to trade-in your current machine? Though it likely won’t affect the bottom line, having the original box and inserts will be of great peace of mind to the potential new owner. They’ll feel better knowing everything was saved and looked after and that they can take it home safely and securely without worry.

As well, how fun for them to also share in that joy of opening that box at home and taking out their new “toy” to play with. I love how Janome continually brings us that joy!

What joy will YOU create today with your “toys”? I’m off to play with my new Janome Memory Craft 6700P!


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Did you know Janome makes their own brand of needles that work flawlessly with their own machines?  But which needle is necessary for the particular type of stitching you are planning to do?  Janome needles are color coded to aid you in choosing the correct type of needle for your project.  I have heard people say the color of the needle needs to match the color of the bobbin case.  This is totally wrong!!  The needle color coding is totally separate to the bobbin case color coding.  Do not mix up the two.

Janome offers a full line of needles that can meet your every need.  Some are color coded and some are listed by size and type.  Be sure to select the appropriate needle for your project for the best quality stitches.


We have posted blogs about needles in the past, but I just want to refresh your memory on the color coding of the Janome needles.  If you are noticing skipped stitches, tension issues with stitches, or shredding of threads the simple answer may just be changing the needle you are using.

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Blue tip needles are a size 11 and used mostly with general sewing.  These have a slight ball point to them so they are good for wovens and knits.  These also have an oversize eye on the needle to better accommodate the thread to prevent drag and tension stress on the top thread.  It is also easier to thread with the larger size eye.


Purple tip needles also has a slightly rounded tip but it is a size 14.  This has a slight flare to the needle above the eye to force the fibers of the fabric apart.  This helps to prevent skipped stitches.  It works well for dense embroidery designs and thick fabric.  These also work well stitching through all the layers of a quilt.


Red tip needles are not ball point.  These are a size 14 needle with a sharp point.  This is great for working with quilting cottons and for machine embroidery.  With its slightly larger eye, it works well with those tricky threads like metallic or mono-filament.

It is important to investigate which needle will be appropriate for your specific project.  Do a test sew on your fabrics before you begin to see if the thread, fabric, bobbin case, and needle selection all match up for the best possible stitch quality.




Introducing our new Educator in the Canadian Prairies: Erin Aumack

Erin began sewing at an early age – she was just 9 years old when she used a vintage Janome made machine with cams that belonged to her great grandmother! She started out making clothes because it was hard to find clothes that she liked. She sewed all through junior and senior high school including making a crepe back satin grad dress, a play tent for her niece and nephews and an awful green corduroy skirt!




This is a dress she made for her daughter who we feel sure feels like a princess in such a lovely dress!




She discovered quilting with paper piecing the summer she I graduated from high school, after receiving a new sewing machine for a graduation gift. Erin learnt how to sew using a book series called “I’ll Teach Myself”. She admits that garment sewing has great appeal because she has a hard to fit body shape so being able to customize the proper fit and have on trend clothing is a big bonus to learning how to sew.

She loves to make big quilts –  the bigger the better  – and is excited about applique, machine embroidery, using decorative stitches, ruler work and quilting on a domestic sewing machine. Erin is currently having a whole lot of fun working on a Janome Skyline S9 and iPad with our fabulous free Apps as well as on a Janome 4 thread serger (the Janome 4DLM ). As you will see from the pic at the top + just below, Erin is no stranger to serging up a storm! She is extremely proficient with garment sewing and serging.

Erin is also a fabric designer with her own online fabric shop called Kiss My Stash Fabric Co offering custom knit fabrics. She says she has always been crafty: scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, quilting, cross stitch……..I think you will agree that Erin is a great addition to our Janome Canada Education team. We are thrilled to have her and look forward to having you meet her in our Janome Canada stores and at shows.

Erin is born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, loves the mountains and currently resides near Calgary. She will be coming your way shortly ….especially if you live in the Canadian Prairies so do watch for notification of Janome events at local Janome authorized stores…….. coming up in the next few months.

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Top 5 Favourite Features of the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP

Janome artisan

I love quilting with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP and appreciate the many features on this machine that make it so easy to stitch. With all the many helpful features on this machine, it was really hard to pick my top favourite ones, but if I had to limit myself to only 5 favourite features, they would be:

  1. High Light

The Janome High Light allows you to focus the light exactly where you need it when you are stitching. I can’t believe how much light the retractable High Light provides and so appreciate it when I’m stitching, especially at night.


  1. HP Needle Plate and Foot

The new industrial Janome HP Needle Plate and HP Foot are my go-to set up when I am piecing my quilts. The combination of these two features gives me an accurate ¼” seam allowance every time.

Janome and embroidery project - 12

  1. One Step Needle Plate Conversion

I hate struggling with a screwdriver to remove the needle plate from a sewing machine and with the One Step Needle Plate Conversion feature, I don’t have to! You simply press down on the tab at the front of the sewing machine and up pops the needle plate. Change to one of the other needle plates included with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP, press down and you are ready to start stitching. Brilliant!

  1. Automatic Thread Cutter

I use this feature every time I sew. A press of the Automatic Thread Cutter button or a tap on the smaller foot pedal and the machine automatically cuts the top and bobbin threads. You can start stitching again right away too with no worry about thread tangles. I love the time I save using the Automatic Thread Cutter.

Janome and embroidery project - 5

  1. Superior Needle Threader

Another time and frustration reliever is the Superior Needle Threader. I spent a lot of time trying to thread my sewing machine needles in the past, but I don’t have to anymore due to the Superior Needle Threader. You simply lock the machine (Janome safety feature + auto machine set up for optimum needle threading success) and then pull down on the side lever and presto, your sewing machine needle is threaded.

Read more about these helpful features on the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 QCP on Kim’s blog and discover one more additional features that she finds essential for sewing.

Happy stitching from Kim Jamieson-Hirst, Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, AB.

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You might have missed our post on this foot just before Christmas> Or possibly you read it but were too busy with Santa, turkey & cranberry sauce to remember it?  We thought we would mention this again as it really is a pretty neat gadget! Check out the post we did on this in December 2017.

Pics below are all courtesy of Sew4Home.com. We have put this foot through its paces and are pretty impressed with the results. It operates in a somewhat similar way to the Binder foot we have had for years – only much easier in or opinion. It could also be likened somewhat to the Quilt Binder set – but in small scale. You may use commercially  made/store bought bias tape or you can make your own with Clover Bias tape makers. The foot is adjustable so you can vary the widths of the tape. I think this foot is going to become a VERY useful addition to our sewing rooms.

Pic courtesy of Sew4Home

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Janome at the Oscars!

A Janome machine (of course) was used to work on this special dress. See this link

Isa Kriegeskott is a Janome America Artisan who was instrumental in the production of this dress for Emily Ratajkowski’s  date with the Oscars. Naturally Isa used her Janome!

Check our Isa’s website http://Isastitches.com  

and Isa’s Instagram for more pics



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BOOK REVIEW: BAGS AND TOTES by Liz Johnson & Anne Adams

Have you come across this book? I think I bought my copy a year or so ago. I flip through it every now & then and must tell you that I have not yet made one of these totes or bags……..but that is NOT because they are not fabulous. No, it is simply a matter of time and other sewing projects higher on my personal To Do list (pretty sure you know the feeling well)…….one day for sure.















Back cover of the book above: there are 10 bags or totes for you to choose from and make using the clear pics and instructions given in the book. NO fussy pattern tracing or cutting out of paper patterns is required.

And who are the talented women behind this great book? Liz Johnson and Anne Adams are the sister duo from Portland, Oregon who started the very successful and popular website Sew4Home in 2009.

And I think my favourite tote in the book is this one below. Still trying to stumble across some gorgeous green vinyl like that……..one day this bag will be seen on my shoulder!


Thank you, Liz and Anne for such a useful and tote/bag inspiration.

If you have not yet discovered www.sew4home.com, you should hop on over as it is a total sewer’s delight.  We love Janome, they love Janome………..ENJOY!



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